Lawmakers Question Effect on Public Safety of Closing 16 FCC Field Offices
Friday, April 24, 2015 | Comments

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders requested information about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to close 16 of the commission's 24 field offices across the country.

“The commission has represented to Congress and the American people that it will ‘preserve the integrity of public-safety communications infrastructure by taking action on 99 percent of complaints of interference to public-safety communications within one day,’ yet your proposal to reduce the geographic footprint of the commission appears to ignore the impact this might have on the commission’s public interest goal,” said a letter from full committee Chairman Fred Upton, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy and Rep. Mike Pompeo.

The lawmakers said their concerns are heightened by the FCC’s failure to provide all the information requested by the committee. During testimony before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, both FCC Managing Director Jon Wilkins and Wheeler pledged to provide the committee with the outside consultant’s final report detailing the rationale and analytical support for the proposal. However, the FCC has provided a two-page memo and a 35-page slide presentation in response to the committee.

The letter requested all internal and external FCC documents about the decision. The committee set a deadline of May 7 for the FCC to comply.

The full letter is available here.

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